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Posted Sunday, April 1, 2007
Stone Gallery on Oxford
(Paddington Uniting Church)
395 Oxford Street
Fay White has been doing extraordinary work in Victoria bringing people together to sing. Eastside Arts is making it easy for you to experience the joy of a Vocal Nosh by bringing Fay White to Sydney! We are looking for around 40 singers to take part in this event - to sing and eat together for the sheer pleasure of it, for community, for connection, for the joy of making music rather than observing others doing it.
The songs are strong, simple, taught by ear (no written music) and no-one is put on the spot. People come tired and go away energised! The idea is really not new but as people hear about it they realize that communities singing and eating together is something they have lost somehow and want to re-discover.
So whether you are a choir-a-holic, a shower singer, or a community worker, Vocal Nosh is music for the ears, the stomach and the heart!
Limited places (first 40 singers) – book early!
(Fay is also running a singing workshop in the church on Tuesday 1 May 7-9pm - $15/$12. Bookings now open)
Nosh (home-made soup & bread. Vegies ok) available at interval!
$20 / $15 (concession & Folk Fed members)
Bookings: (02) 9331 2646 or email
Free car parking – Gordon Street church car park.
Eastside Arts gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Arts NSW
and the City of Sydney
What is “Vocal Nosh"?
- an open letter of explanation from Fay White
If you are interested in getting your community singing, a new form of community singing known as “Vocal Nosh’ may interest you.
What exactly is it? Vocal Nosh a community event where people gather to sing and eat together for the sheer pleasure of it, for community, for connection, for the joy of making music rather than observing others doing it.
Each session stands alone and people can come once or occasionally or every time. The songs are strong, simple, taught by ear (no written music) and there are no auditions or solos and no-one is put on the spot. It usually starts with a warm-up of stretches and vocal play and ends with lots of harmonies. People come tired and go away energised!
The idea is really not new but as people hear about it they realize that communities singing and eating together is something they have lost somehow and want to re-discover. Every group is different and has its own flavour and name. The name "Vocal Nosh' is my invention but it's not a trade name or a copyrighted title and I'm completely happy for anyone to use it if they are singing to build community. Sessions have been named Local Vocals, Singing for Fun, Harmony Soup and Sing for your Supper etc.
Where did it start?
In Victoria it began in the little town of Newstead in 1999 near Castlemaine and is still going strong. We have between 30 and 50 people gather once a month and I lead the singing in this session. Several other folk make soups and we get crusty bread and fruit to make a nice healthy meal. We sing for a hour, then eat, then sing for another hour and go home. It's a buzz.
Help to get it going
A couple of years ago a person who attended Vocal Nosh at Newstead approached me and said "This is good stuff - we need to train other people to lead sessions like this". She happened to be a community developer with heaps of experience in that field and we devised a course of training. Her name is Anne-Marie Holley. Simultaneously, VicHealth came to the party and funded the training which has now been attended by over 150 people who make up a network of singing leaders across the state. Since then, this work of training and resourcing communities and singing leaders has been done through Community Music Victoria (CMV) with full Training Weekends and Gathering Days for leaders to learn new songs and skills that work with this kind of singing.
Session or choir?
So as you can see, Vocal Nosh is singing for the fun of it, not a rehearsal for performance. However, once people get the singing bug they often want to join a choir. These are also great fun and a terrific source of friendship. Choirs encourage the practise of the everyday arts that keep our spirits healthy and alive, and these choirs often sing at local community events, adding colour to a local community.
Vocal Nosh Philosophy
Vocal Nosh describes a community singing (and eating) together. It is really the semi-formal organisation of a community behaviour we've indulged in since long before we could write. Unfortunately, in these days of atomisation and alienation, it is a behaviour that has become more and more unusual.
(02) 9331 2646